Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rhoda's Rock Hunt

Rhoda's Rock Hunt by Molly Beth Griffin is a picture book most elementary aged students will enjoy.  Rhoda is hiking through the woods with her aunt and uncle.  She sees so many rocks that she wants to collect, but soon her backpack is way too heavy to carry.  Rhoda has to think of a solution since her aunt and uncle are not going to help carry any.  She decides to make rock art and just keep a handful, which works for everyone involved.  I checked this book out to share with my students to use as an example of problem solving, but I think the story is strong enough to be shared just for fun as well.  It could also be a story to be shared with a unit about the outdoors, camping, and northern Minnesota.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vincent Paints His House

Vincent Paints His House by Tedd Arnold is a picture book I came across and enjoyed.  Vincent wants to paint his house, but every time he chooses a color, some animal suggests another color.  This repetitive book is great for kindergarten students or children learning English.  There are some elements that would be interesting to older students as well.  Each page shows some more advanced words for the colors such as amber, emerald, olive, and ebony.  The last page shows Vincent's house completed, as well as VanGogh's Starry Night as the background.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

One Thousand Gifts

I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp back in January. 
The first time I picked it up was several years ago and did not make much progress.  In January, with few choices on what to read, someone lent me this book.  So I read the whole think and I am glad.  Voskamp was determined to write down one thousand things that were gifts.  The book does not detail every single one, but she writes about the challenge and growth that came from looking for the blessings in her life.  Sometimes it is more poetry than prose, but I wrote down two quotes to share with you...

"Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it."
"To learn how to be grateful and happy, whether hands full or hands empty.  That is a secret worth spending a life learning."

I do not think I am going to reread the whole book this November, but I will reread parts, and continue to work on being thankful. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

free little libraries

I am a fan of the Free Little Libraries that people have put up in their yards.  My sister lives in a neighborhood that is several miles from a public library.  I was going to suggest she put one up in her yard, but someone a five minute walk from her house had already put one in their front yard.  I like it.  They even have a bench to sit on next to it.   
Here is one in my other sister's neighborhood.   She says that maybe she should get one in her yard since it is across the street from several districts bus stop. 

This is the one in my town.  Do you have one in your community?  Have you thought about putting one up? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

book club or quilt club?

This weekend, my book club and I got together to quilt.  One of our members teaches at quilt retreats.  When she suggested that the group spend the weekend at her house for a quilt retreat, everyone thought it was a great idea.  The eight of us  spent Friday evening and Saturday working on our disappearing four patch quilt squares.  I learned a few things about cutting fabric and enjoyed working on this with others around.  It was interesting to see everyone's color choices and how it can make something look so different.  Though I only got seven sewn on Saturday, I was able to spend time on it yesterday at home.  The blocks take a bit more time than I expected, but I do like how they look when completed.  This is now on my list of things I want to finish in 2015.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

scavenger hunt

The other day ten of my family members and I went to a nature park reserve when we had the day off school.  It being a nature park, I planned a scavenger hunt.  The list was not long or complicated and included the following things:
  • something smooth
  • something that looks like the letter l
  • 2 kinds of seeds
  • 5 different types of leaves
  • tree bark
  • something black 
  • a piece of trash
  • a circle rock
  • something rough
  • a stick the length of your foot
  • something alive
  • an acorn
  • a picture of your team
  • a funny shaped stick
In teams of three (one adult and two children), they had twenty minutes to find everything.  When they all returned, we shared our results.  The picture above was from one team, and another team actually found a worm for their living item.  I enjoyed seeing the variety and everyone enjoyed the activity.  Now I am thinking of ways I could incorporate a scavenger hunt into my English classes. 

FYI-the picture is of my farmer brother and my two nieces.